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Friends For Life

Friends  for  Life

  • Mohinder Pal Singh

Every  now  and  then all  of  us  meet  some    strangers .  With  some  we  exchanges  glances  ,  with  others   some  words  and  with  some  we becomes  friends. No one  is  born  with a  bunch of  friends. We  are  born only  with  our  parents.   All  friends  come  into our lives   first as  strangers , and  then  out  of them  some stay  with  us  as  friends   while   others  depart . The  journey from  strangers  to friendship depends  on  some  pre-requisites.  The first  one   by  its  presence  and  the  other  by  its  absence. The first,  is   the  presence  of  the  feeling  called  mutual.  Everything  in  friendship is  supposed to  be  mutual; be  it  respect,  love,  understanding or   genuine feelings. Nothing  can  be  one-way on the road of friendship.  The  second  is  important by  its  complete  absence  and  i.e   hatred.  This  absence  also  has  to  be in both and  not  one. If  it  is  present  even  in  one  person  it  will  not  let  the bond  nurture. For  a  good  bond of  friendship to  germinate  the  strong  presence  of  the  first  and  the complete  absence  of  the  second  in  both is  a  must.  Some  other  good  or  bad   feeling like  jealously,  competition  can  co-exist  in miniscule  quality without doing much harm .  The  bond of  friendship  can  withstand  them  to  a  great  extent. It  will be  surprising to  note that  the  gender, age , caste, religion, colour  play   so  little  role  in  this  process. Some even  say  that  the  opposites  attract but  that  too  cannot  be  postulated  because sometime  similar  also attract.  No  theory  of  science ,  art  or  psychology  has  ever  been  able  to  explain  the  nuances  of  this relation clearly. The  how  and  why people  becomes  friends  still  remains  an  inexplicable  mystery. Only  one  thing  seems clear and that is it  all  stems  from  the mind   and  thoughts.

An   indelible   truth of  the  life  is that  all friends  were  strangers  one  day.  But   all strangers  do  not  become  friends,  is  also  true. When two strangers  meet for  the  first  time  , something  wriggles in them, something  kindles, some neurons  snap and some  signals  mingle , only then  begins  the  process. If  the  signals  are  present  only in  one  person the  process  of  bonding  will  not  commence  effectively because  the  first   condition  is  not be  met. Once  initiated  , the  process of  friendship goes  through  some subtle and   overlapping phases. The first  phase is  the  introductory  phase  , where  the  strangers  develop  an innate urge to  know  each other. This may be  in  a  kind  of simple  hand-shake  in college, a  party or  in  a  meeting. The  introductory  phase may  last from a  few  seconds to a few  days. It  may  involve  some  verbal  introductions  about  each  other or  may  be  just  a glance. Once the  vibe  sets  in  and  the conditions  listed  above  seem  in place the  process starts. Closely  following this  phase  , is  the  second phase  called  the  Inquisitive  phase. After  a   brief  introductory phase  heralds into  curiosity and    you  wish  to  know  more  about the  person  (  if  you  do  not  know  it  earlier). Even  if  you  know  it  earlier  ,  anybody  will  like  to  be  in  verbal  communication . Inquisitiveness  includes  knowing  about   his/her  habits,  nature , likes and dislikes. This  phase lasts  for  a  much longer  duration.  This  is  followed  by  the  third phase called, Sharing  phase.  Having known    a person for  some  time  you develop  some  faith  and  you   feel  like  sharing  things. This  may mean sharing  some  of  your  not  so  important  secrets  or  even  physical  things  like  giving  small  gifts etc. This  is  followed  by the  fourth  phase  called  the  Test  Phase.   The  road  from  being strangers  to good  friends is  not  surfeit  with rosy petals  all  along. There  are  rough  and  muddy  patches  enroute  which  need  to  be crossed  . At  times  true  friends  can  be  harsh and  rude  too. The  Test phase comes  in when  misunderstandings , personal biases creep in. This  needs  maturity in understanding  and   handling the  feelings  of  a person. The last phase of  friendship  is the   Move –on  phase.   Once  the  bacon of  the friendship  has  been  baked  properly  under the  phases   then  it  can withstand  the  vagaries  of  life and  nature  for  a  life  time.  No  amount  of  time-gaps, silences  and    devilism can  sever  such strong  emotional bonds.

This  article  will  be  incomplete  if I  do not mention  friendship in today’s fast-moving-life  context. Friendship  in today’s  context  is  like  a  continuum,  it  is fast moving, it  has  to  remain dynamic,  it is  for  a  purpose. It  is like  a  tiny  electron which  is  always  in excited  state, always  in  motion. Due  to  24X7  communication  channels, you   can  be  always  be  in  touch with  each other.  Extend  help  and  seek  help continuously. Another  very  important  feature  of  friendship  in  the present context is  the  large  number  of  strangers   to  choose  from.  When  you have  too  large a  number to  handle  the  depth decreases. In earlier days communication was  slow  and friendship  was  more  grave  and personified. Today  it  is  not. Friendships too  have  become like  a  FMCG( fast –moving  -consumer-goods)commodity . Even  after  going  through   the    arduous  phases of  friend-development one  does  not  wink once  before  giving  up  with someone and picking  up  another. Speedy communications have tremendously microscoped  even  the phases  of  friendship-development.

So  in order  to  keep  your  friendships  in  order and  long  lasting  what  needs to be  done?

It is  simple. Firstly, take  friends  seriously because  good  friends  are  a  gift  for life. If  you  have  friends  maintain your  link.  Once  you  make  a  friend stay  in touch, it is  easy to  do  so nowdays. Second, easy communication  also has   a  serious  negative  effect of  breeding misunderstandings. Simply  guard against it. Thirdly, come  what may ,nobody  likes  un-asked  criticism on  anything. So hold your  nerves  even  if you  don’t  like  some  unruly   actions of  your  friends ,  he  may have  his  own  reasons  or  compulsions. Lastly  always try to   be    a  motivating  factor. Everyone needs  it. And when  it  comes  from  a  friend it  has  a  very  soothing  effect.

Last  but  not  the  least , If  you  have one, don’t  loose  him/her…….

friendship

Positive Thinking lessons by my 10 year old daughter before my Angiography

It  was  first week of  July 2013,  while doing my daily evening 5 km jog I felt  a  little  pain in  my  chest. I  stopped jogging  , walked  back home. After  reaching home and  sitting down  for sometime the pain automatically  subsided. Though I was a bit  worried initially but  soon  became normal  thinking  it must  be due  to some  gastric instability. The next day I  again ventured for my jog trying to keep the thoughts of yesterday’s  pain away,  but they kept  coming and i  kept jogging… but  suddenly  after  about  4 km,  the  same pain  at  the  same  place in  the  chest commenced its knock. I  was  a bit alarmed. I Changed  my jog to slow  walking and  took  a  short  route home. Came  and  sat down on  my  sofa, had two glasses  of water and  within 10 minutes the  pain  vanished. The next day and day after that I  insisted on going for my  jogs and the  pain insisted on  coming  back at  the  same  intervals.  In  the  end, on  continued insistence of  my wife and  kids I  visited  a friend cardiologist in the city of Allahabad. On asking my age ,  he said,” at 44 I  can’t take chances  with your heart  and you have to undergo some mandatory tests. All my pleading of , ‘otherwise i  am fit and fine’ went  in vain and next day itself  I underwent Treadmill  test  to which my  doctor  said he is sensing  some bit of aberrations . He immediately referred me to a Multi-speciality hospital  in Lucknow and put me on  5 tablets  a  day till the time  I could  take  leave and get my further tests  done  by a heart  specialist.

From  being a punctual fitness freak i was  catapulted into a sick man overnight.  My mood obviously   became sombre and  seeing me in this state my wife too  got worried. A  day before I  was to  leave  for Lucknow, my 10 year  , always  bubbly daughter  came and sat  next to  the bed  where  I  was lying down , trying to  sleep which was continously evading me. I  was  almost in a state where I  was  thinking that ,  will this be the last  night in my room, will I  come back  hale  and hearty? what if I  don’t  reach  Lucknow  also? Such  negative  thoughts  were  permeating  unobtrusively when I was  alone even for a minute. I  was  trying to  fight my negative  thoughts  with  all my  positive energy  at my  disposal which seemed to be slowly waning. Suddenly at around  11 pm my 10 year  daughter came into the room,  seeing me awake she  said, ” papa , You have  a train to  Lucknow at  7 am and  you  are  still  awake?” I  answered , “Yes my Child,  I am unable to  sleep,  but don’t  worry I am fine”. Hearing this  she sat  down on the chair next  to  the bed.

The  video  which i am going to  show  you all was  just unintutively recorded by me while my daughter was talking to me that  night. (  i would request  the  readers to  just see this  29 second  clip before going  back to the story- someone rightly  said child is the  father of  man).

Next  day  I boarded the train with a friend who  was accompanying  me for the trip. I must have  seen the  video  at least  three  times on my mobile  during the train journey and  everytime seeing  my daughter  giving me lessons a smile would erupt on my face. I  slowly started feeling that  I  have no problem and I would  be back with NAD( a medical term- No Abnormality Detected).

The short  journey of 5 hours soon ended and I was  admitted in the big Multi-speciality hospital. Next day  a  very  experienced  Cardiologist  examined me  and also conducted some tests like  echo, dopplers and TMT. In  the end he  opined that  there is some doubt of a mild blockage and  he  would like to put me through  angiography tomorrow morning. I  was  a bit demoralised at this  opinion. I came back to my hospital bed. My  friend Rahul  was there with me. He said, “Sir  dont worry you will be fine.” and then  we talked for a while  and watched some programme  on TV. The  ward  had two more patients  who  had undergone  angiography and  angioplasty a day prior and they were  sharing  their experiences. But heart of hearts I did not want to have  a stent in my heart at  44 years of  age.   I  wanted to  still go on  my morning and evening runs and play basketball – my favourite game,  which will  certainly not be permitted after an  angioplasty.

In the  evening  the  nurse  came to  give  a  dozen  medicine tablets. She was  very polite  and  told  me to be ready by  8 am as I would  be the  first one for the operation. She  assured  me that  I was in  the hands of  the best doctor in this field who  has a speckless  record of  doing these procedures. Amidst the  whirlwind of thoughts in my  mind  the assurances  of the nurse were  ineffective to pep me up. She made me pop some  half  a  dozen tablets which most likely included  a  relaxant because soon after  she left  i slept off.

I  was awakened at 6 am in the morning  with some more tablets to  control the BP  etc. Soon afterwards my  friend came to help  me  get  ready. Just  before I  left my  room I took the mobile in my hand opened the video of my cute daughter  and listened  to it again. I smiled ,  handed over the phone to Rahul and walked into the Cath Lab.

The whole procedure was  conducted  while I  was wide wake and Dr Goel was  talking to  me. After  10 minutes  his talk became  very light and we were laughing. He told me there  is no  blockage anywhere. I could not believe my ears ,  I  asked him again while still lying down on the operation table, Sir ” are  you  sure”. He said “yes, i have checked all the  channels of heart and everything seems perfect.” Go back and enjoy life.

I was  rolled  out of  the  cath lab.

He took my case sheet and wrote:-

NAD

Stop  all medicines.

(It has  been  5 years  since I underwent this procedure, was suddenly reminded of this incident today when  i was doing  my evening jog and thought of penning it down  for posterity)

**Thanks for reading . DO leave your comments on my blog to encourage me to keep sharing my experiences of life  and  on the  you tube channel to encourage  Jasnoor whose simplified  positive thinking  tips gave me a  new life).

Is Whatsapp hijacking Our Lives?

IMG-20170503-WA0012Is Whatsapp hijacking Our Lives?

by

Mohinder Pal Singh

Ever  since  whatsapp has  come into the lives of denizens ,irrespective of the age, gender, caste and religion it has  squeezed time from our already packed  schedules. Initially  it  came as  a tool which appeared  as  an alternate to the erstwhile SMS and slowly graduated  to communicating with friends intermittently. Slowly whatsapp inundated  us  with greeting  messages which  was  a welcome  change  from  sending high-priced  SMS just to wish  friends  ‘happy diwali’ or ‘happy new year’. Whatsapp features  made it all ‘free’. Due  to the simplicity of its use,  it left email and  other social networking sites or apps much  behind. Slowly from being  just  a  tool  to  text  messages  or pictoral  greetings it  graduated  to video messages, long  text  stories and  instant  news  items, which could  be circulated  across the world in  a click. A watershed  in the history of  whatsapp was the introduction of voice and  video call. The way Whatsapp had annihilated SMS, Whatsapp  voice  call  is on the  path of annihilating telephone calls.  With all these facilities on the click of a finger whatsapp has  entered  our lives ‘forever’ like a RBC cell in our blood without which  we  can’t live. Today  the whatsapp messages can be typified into – ‘information’ uploads, Sea of ‘gyan’, sensational news items, current affairs and developments, entertainment and  humour and not to miss out porn.

Every denizen on whatapp has  now  become  a  netizen. And every netizen is glued to whatsapp which includes multiple and overlapping activities like,   reading  individual text messages from friends  and acquaintances,  reading  text  messages in  groups, chatting with friends, discussions in  groups, reading  and  forwarding good messages, seeing videos, forwarding  videos, reading  links  and  forwarding links to others. And  all  this  takes  a huge amount of time. And just to get  an estimate  as to  how  much time is being  used up in doing all this I indulged , out of sheer  inquisitiveness  in a small net-based survey among some  friends and in some whatsapp groups. I  asked  four pointed questions,  how much time  do you spend in reading messages/videos, how much time do  you spend in forwarding texts/ videos,  how much time do you spend in  reading links and how much  time do you spend  in chatting  and  calling. The participants in the survey were in the   age group of  18 to 65 and included both  genders.  The  result of this survey  was shell  shocking  but I  was  prepared for the jolt.  On  an average  a person was spending a whooping 90-120 minutes  a day on this  app. Where did each person manage to cull out  this time   from  his already busy daily routine was the instant question which hit my head?

Varily speaking the implication of this neo-love, spreading pan india , pan world and pan generations is disastrous. Lets in brief analyse  how this enigma   has  effected  each one of us. For  a student sparing two hours on whatsapp means denuding two hours either from playtime or from studies and both are abysmally devastating in student life.  For an adult in a job with a family removing two hours from his busy schedule means either  denuding  time from  the  work  or from the family-time and both  are equally perilous things to do. For an old sparing  two  hours  means denuding himself from his  fixed  daily routine.

Actually ,  whatsapp is  not taking our time at  one  go. It is slowly  nibbling  time  from  our various essential activites. This  habit of  nibbling  away  chunks  of time from  our   personal time at home or from the  official time in office is keeping us afloat in a flux of distractions all  the  time. It is making  us  lose our focus from any activity we are  indulging in. Though for the bored and retired it could be a blessing in disguise.

However, for most of us, its  high time we  re-align ourself in our  lives, take stock of  the  time  available to  each one of us   and use  this social media  platform in a gainful manner and  not let it hijack our lives.

Nebulous Whatsapp Gyan

Nebulous Whatsapp Gyan.
The era of books to imbibe knowledge is fast fading away and its place is being surreptitiously taken in by none other then our friendly neighborhood app- Whatsapp.
Five years back no one could have imagined the proliferation prowess of this tiny android application and how it will revolutionize the text messaging service and subsequently introduce  even a computer illiterate person to image and video messaging. It has indeed topsy turvied our lives. On one hand it has opened new gates to a sea of knowledge but on the other hand it has nibbled into our own spare time which we would have otherwise used for our hobbies, meeting friends( physical meetings), playing games (outdoor) reading newspaper (physically) and reading books.
The maximum damage undoubtedly has been done to the habit of book reading. It has almost caused a premature demise of the habit of reading.
The all-in-one online gyan provides knowledge and information and alongside provides all type of entertainment depending on your taste buds.
A typical day of an avid Whatsapp user goes something like this:-
(a) period 6 am to 9 am – messages start with a ‘namaskar’ or good morning messages from individual friends or from groups. Most of these messages are stringed with ‘one line advice’ or wish as if you are surely going to win a jackpot or a billion dollar lottery today. …This is followed by some videos on yoga, fitness, how to get slim etc… ( personally I have tried all the recipes of slimming but to only end up with status quo).
(b) Period of online silence …. 9 am to 11am.
This is the period of ‘online silence’ as most of the members are busy in rushing to offices and sorting out the morning blues, homemakers are busy chidding their maids, children are off to school. so this is the time of reduced activity on whatsapp.
(c) Period of slow Activity…11am to 5pm. in this period there is exchange of some anecdotes however the inflow of posts is less.
(d) Period of hyper activity 5 pm to 11 pm…. At this time all members are active and fwd jokes videos pics, in groups also this period sees maximum Activity like heated discussions on controversial issues. Maximum gyan is distributed an imbibed during this period of  activity.
(e) Period of passionate texting 11 pm to 1 am. the last but the most passionate period is this. the serious Whatsapp lovers carry their mobiles to bed, turn the silent key on so that no one hears a sound then they are glued to the Whatsapp screens.

Most of  the  whatsapp gyan is nebulous because it is not imbibed but promptly forwarded for someone else to reap the benefit. And in the bargain no one actually  benefits. Such nebulous gyan stays in  your mobile folder  and  after  ten or twelve days when the  mobile runs out of  storage space one tends to delete the gyan-surfeit videos in a jiffy.

If  all  this  gyan was  really  imbibed  in  a  positive manner by now the world would have  become a pleasant place to live in.

Thanks for reading!!

 

Time to Unfriend some Friends

Today we have developed a tendency to increase the number of friends to a number where they become unwieldy to handle. Many in our huge friendship circle are only peripheral friends and cannot spare neither time nor effort to help us ,advice us, stand by usq when you are in need.
My definition of a friend is
-a person to whom you can
approach when you need help.
-A person whom you can approach to take some advice.
– A person who takes time to tell you if are doing anything wrong.
– A person who encourages you when you are on the right path.

If you have a friend who fulfills any of the above conditions is indeep worthy of a piece of your life.

But on the flip side I have seen majority of our so called friends fulfilling another set of rather ,not so condusive conditions:-
– They are indifferent in your success.
– They have very little time for you. they are hesitant in taking that little mile extra to help you.
– impolite at times or too blunt or impervious to your feeling.
– Critical in your failure.
And we out of sheer generosity are unable to severe ties with them. We keep thinking what will the other person think. But I feel there is no point in dragging such friendships for the sake of it. It’s better to do Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish(GRBR) and live in peace.

It’s better to have less friends then bad friends.

Holi or Hooliganism

Holi is a festival whose origin lies in tales of ancient Indian civilisations. from a festival of win of good over evil, as God saved Pralad from clutches of death and instead annihilated evil-minded Holika.

The celebrations became festivities and greetings took to  use of dry Colors. But slowly the dry colors have taken turn into wet colors , mud and water….
unruly elements of the society get license to go berserk. Heavy liquor drinking and use of narcotics has become an accepted norm in this festival. From a festival of greetings , friendship and colour it has become an epicenter of hooliganism, crime against women and show of machoism on the roads. As a result the festival is increasingly being detested by the common people, who prefer to stay indoors.
it’s high time that this festival’s true spirits be preserved and used to propogate bon homie among people of different castes, creed’s and religion.It should be remembered as the win of truth over evil forces. Hooliganism on the name of Holi must stop.

My Uncontrolled Guffaws at Sardar Jokes

images (8)Having  travelled  to  various  places  in India  and  having  stayed  in  about  ten  different  towns, there was one thing common – I  was  made the  butt of  jokes on Sardars.  The  jokes  would  not only pour  from  those  who  were  jealous  of  my  academic  achievements  but  also  from  some of  my very  close friends. The only  difference  was  that  while those  who  envied me blasted the jokes at my face when  we  were  standing  in  a  group,   whereas  my  close  friends   would  do me the courtesy of looking  at me politely and saying “If  you  wouldn’t  mind, can I crack a  joke on Sardars please?” and  a  smile  from  me  would  be  taken as  an affirmation.  Either way, the jokes would be humiliating and offensive. When my friends and colleagues would be laughing out loud looking at me,  I had  little  choice  but  to  smile and  show  spirit. But how many times a day can one take such ribbing sportingly? In my case, during college, it would come at me two to three times a day, and later when I got a job, it would happen twice or thrice during every social gathering.

Coming to the jokes proper, what do ‘Sardarji Jokes’ have in common? What characterizes them and sets them apart? Firstly, they all have a protagonist who is a Sardar. Secondly, this protagonist is idiosyncratic and an abject idiot  who probably has   an  IQ  of  a  primary school  dropout. All of his decisions are not only irrational but also comic. In the last  thirty years, during most of which I have been at the  receiving end of these jokes, I  have  observed that  neither  the  IQ  nor the  idiotic persona  of  the  protagonist  has  improved. But there is one thing that has surely changed – the fact that Sardars in real life have come a long way. They have penetrated every profession, every service, every walk of life and they have progressed and prospered in leaps and bounds. I in my life am yet to find a Sardar in India or abroad who is struggling for a means of livelihood.  They’re happy with whichever field they pursue, and are prosperous. Don’t take my word for it. Look around yourself and you will be forced to believe what you see with your own eyes. This dichotomy made me wonder sordidly – if  hardly any real  characters  with such miserable skills exist, why do such  jokes  abound  all  over the social  networks?

I began to look around to find the answer. After  talking  to hundreds  of  people including those  who forward the  jokes  to  me and  you, the hilarious  truth which I  unearthed was  that even  those  who compose these  ‘Sardarji Jokes’  have  never found or met  an  idiosyncratic  Sardar, and  both the  joke-creators  and the  joke-forwarders  are  living  in a Fools’ Paradise. It was then that I realized that the real life inspirations for these jokes lie not in the actions of any actual people but the psyche of the ones who spread such hallucinated stories themselves. It is simply akin to the ghost stories which would scare a kindergarten child. As  one grows  older  one is no  longer scared or amused  by  them as  one realizes that the  ghost  does  not exist. In the same  way, I  was  surprised  that  the people  who  still find juvenile amusement through a make-belief idiosyncratic Sardar are yet to realize  that while they still clamour and laugh, their  Sardar  has  moved on miles ahead. And then it struck me that it was not just a single friend of mine, but thousands of denizens bunched up together in this Fools’ Paradise. It could not be helped , so  I blew an uncontrollable  guffaw at them all!