Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wrong? What's that...

As many of you have come to realize, my blog articles are usually results of discussions/debates/arguments that I have had with one or more of my friends. This one being one of the more popular ones, I am sure many of you have already had this discussion with me. Here is an opportunity to respond with your take for the world to see and view something so basic from a different eye if you haven’t already.

Depending on the background you come from, here are a couple scenarios that you may relate to at some level.

1. You are in India having dinner at home, your family is what some would consider traditional, and a hardcore rock star appears on television. Hair all colored and long (like hooligans as described by mom), music funky and loud (surely from the devil as described by dad), and a kid your age ends up approaching the star for an autograph overwhelmed to even be in his/her divine presence. At this your parents exclaim in unison, “Oh lord! Kids these days have gone so wrong.” Your dad forbids you from ever becoming like that, while in your heart you know you love that star.

2. Today, you went out and got yourself a tattoo. Seems like suddenly the world has split into half, those who agree with this gesture and those who don’t. You flaunt it on facebook as you really don’t care about what others think. However, you refrain from telling your parents and a few other very close friends, ones you are sure disapprove. They have had countless discussions with you regarding how you’d have to live with it your entire life and that when you become old you’d hate to even look at it, etc. You have heard it all and yet decided to go ahead.

Scenario 1, in that room of 3 and country of over a billion you were surely outnumbered to consider the persona of the rock star to be that of a ‘right’/’proper’ individual. Step out in one bigger circle, and soon you’d realize that there are innumerous people around the world you idolize the star just as much as you do and see nothing wrong with it, nor do they have anyone telling them otherwise. Scenario 2, you may be frowned upon in a traditional church or place of worship but you’d fit right in at a night club in any city of the world.

The more I came to realize these situations, the more people I saw living/prospering happily around the world doing all the things I grew up to know as wrong (borderline sinful), I developed a new theory about right or wrong: There is no right or wrong in this world, there is only different. My understanding is that as long as you are not intentionally hurting someone you CANNOT be wrong. I can’t stress it enough that ANYTHING you chose to do you’ll find enough people in the world who think just like you. You may stand out in your surroundings, might get resented for the same, but it is your principles and your life.

That said never close yourself to criticism, opinions and judgments from those with experience as they inevitably should append to your understanding of life itself. If you feel strong enough about your thoughts, be ready to defend them to anyone willing to converse with logic.

Comments/rebuttals/views accepted/requested. I am quite clear about my logic and certainly willing to adapt/learn/defend.

Live... Laugh… Love...


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Past, Present or Future?

Some live life freely; some never stop to worry; some like me constantly attempt at finding the right way to live life. No matter which path you choose, I write today to stress the importance of doing so in the present rather than in the past or for the future.

People ask you to learn from your past and implement it towards your future. In this attempt, we often forget about our present. Present as the name suggests is very much a gift; a gift that life offers you over and over again, a chance to use it right every day. Choices made in the past need not have any bearing on the present no matter how helpless you feel. Choices you make today need not be second guessed no matter how unsure you feel. Make every decision at its merits and demerits visible currently and then, instead of reevaluating your choice, spend time making it into the right decision.

Just recently I heard a lecture on synthetic happiness. Without getting into much detail, I’d like to present the conclusion of the lecture which said, the human mind when not given a choice automatically learns to love and be happy regarding its decisions and the outcomes of those decisions. By restricting yourself from second guessing yourself, you will allow your brain to inherently make you happy regarding your choices. This may convince you, it may not, but simply try it out and the results will speak for themselves.

Now that we can stop worrying about the decisions we just made, let’s focus on the worries that crowd our mind regarding decisions we need to make. I’ll share a little bit about myself; some of you may relate to it closely, some may have had a completely different experience. Growing up, life was blissful and tension free till about 9th grade. Till then scoring in exams, behaving like a good kid at school, brat at home, not planning for more than a minute in the future was the extent of my life. Until recently, I can’t remember another phase better than those days. I am sure you all agree to the childhood years being the very best. It got me thinking, how to reproduce the same kid in you while taking on the responsibilities of a grown up?

Beginning of 9th grade, life’s so called responsibilities started sequentially lining themselves up. Scoring the very best in 10th grade was important to get into a good junior college. Scoring the very best in 12th grade was imperative for getting into a good college. Doing well in college was so necessary to get a great job. Early on, my focus had already been faltering from the widely accepted Indian theory of: follow a great career path at any cost. After my admissions overseas for college, I had begun to slack in my 12th grade preparation and convinced myself on living a multiple goal driven life. Without losing sight of a career, I focused on jumping the band wagon on the social triumphant happy looking genre of life.

All this rambling, I guess, just to make the point that live in the present, do what comes to heart, convince yourself about your choices and you can convince anyone else. Stop worrying about the next step, stop worrying about the bad phases of the past, breathe freely, enjoy today as it will only last for so long. In the idiotic but true words from the movie Rang de Basanti, “ek tang to past main hai dujee future main, tabhi to beech main moot rahey hai..”(With one leg in the past and another in the future, we seem to be peeing on our present).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Complicated Indian

One of the recent PostSecret postcards ( read, “Being Indian makes life complicated.” At the time I felt related to it and shared it with friends on Facebook; Never did a status message receive so many ??? marks. My first impression on reading the line was that it was written by a person trying to make everyone happy. Compelled to explore it further, I felt like categorizing the current youth/generation of India.

The Defiant – The most common youth seems to be growing up with the concept that they have life figured out. Anybody, including parents, who tell them different, needs to be defied. Defiance not only comes in terms of disobeying but blatantly hiding their actions for convenience. I am sure plenty of us can relate to the story of asking a friend to lie on our behalf about our whereabouts. (Surely happy him/herself but I am not sure about the surroundings)

The Follower – Depending on the upbringing background, a small part of the youth acts like a trained machine. For all practical purposes they have never cultivated the ability to make a decision. Their life, their choices and direction of life is purely based on their background and not their current exposure. After a certain age, they stop reviewing their definitions of right and wrong and persistently stick to some not so evolving ideas. (Family/surroundings very happy, but loss of meaning towards self happiness)

The Culmination – Currently attempting to incorporate both in self, I feel there is sweet equilibrium between the defiant and the follower. It is also the birth of the complicated Indian. Cultures around the world are split broadly into these categories. Americans for instance are usually defiant (but accepted so, by their parents). Stricter cultures in Asia and others tend to be followers and consider their parents lifestyle to be the only correct lifestyle. (The anonymous postcard sender, constantly keeping everyone happy :) )

The complicated Indian decides to evolve with exposure instead of background alone. World is smaller than ever before and has offered exposure to the current generation unparallel to the one that was available to our parents. Constant exposure of a different culture and the personal choice of willing to question personal philosophies; this is what allows one to make changes not always acceptable in their culture. Growing via exposure alone though can very easily make you defiant. Thus the complication, with this ever changing life direction, in keeping their culture/past involved and perhaps parents on the same page takes effort, time and persistence. At the same time, the follower needs to become more open minded and let the worldly exposures positively affect them. For me, this has been the key to feeling absolutely sound about my long term satisfaction/happiness.

Comments, feedback, personal take requested.

Love, Mo

Sunday, June 21, 2009


When it came up in conversation the other day, I could not help but explore an individual’s perception of the word innocence. Discussing it with friends brought up some different aspects to mind. It seems we use it as an adjective quite often and yet almost universally when it may not apply.

Trustworthiness is innocence?

Inexperience is innocence?

Stupidity is innocence?

Honesty is innocence?

When it comes to looks, infants are often referred to having an innocent look. Are we referring to their inability to scam us? fool us? or simply saying that they look nice. Even in grown-ups, a subtle natural physical beauty can be related to innocence. The trust we pour into a stranger, how personable the stranger is, is partially based off our perception of their innocence amongst other things.

When somebody isn’t as knowledgeable as us about a certain topic, their lack of exposure is sometimes considered as their innocence. The fact that after so many years they never came across something very naïve must be because they lead an innocent life. All of a sudden, you find yourself in a position of corrupting them. Corrupting not in terms of making them dishonest but simply exposing them to a life perhaps unacceptable in their past. Providing exposure to a soul is simply allowing them to live and define their own life instead of letting them follow one sketched out for them.

As a good friend pointed out, people living the been there, done that lifestyle have often had a lot of exposure to the troubles of life and carry lower expectations from their future. Innocent people live in an ideal world expecting everything to work out perfect. Sometimes I feel is it the jaded ones that make it far and high in life whereas the innocent ones are left behind. Then again, life today is such fast paced and full of diversity, unless you have spent your entire life in a remote village, you cannot remain innocent (of any kind).

I guess all the aforementioned forms are personality traits of an innocent human. Please search for them in self and preserve the ones that can be preserved. You may not be naïve or inexperienced any more, however, never lose the trustworthiness and honesty. Leaving you with a lovely song; Comments, feedback, suggestions welcome.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Depending on your background, upbringing, religion and culture a life has been described for you. This life is being lived by your parents, distant family and others with a similar background. Let us term this: The Conventional. Today’s entry is to prompt a comfort level with what we commonly end up recognizing as the Unconventional.

For those in their twenties, we have been exposed to a generation gap driven wide by rapidly changing technology and a world that is smaller than ever before. Our exposure of the world surpasses any experience the generation before us has had living it. Even though they notice the same diversity in cultures and religions today, they have passed the age where they could incorporate it in their lifestyle. The Conventional choices get pretty set in stone after a certain age. They look at life from a certain view point. The experiences of their generation allow them to pour their unbiased trust more often than not only in people from their own cast and religion.

The ever wired life on the internet, the increased diversity by people migrating all over the world, the social addiction of Facebook has caused major interactions between people with different backgrounds. I urge you to view somebody else with an open mind set before dismissing their lifestyle as unconventional. I request you to put yourself in an uncomfortable position, outside your territory of similar peers; it will make you strong, well rounded and truly global.

Making acquaintances through common friends, trusting individuals rather than their background, reading scriptures from a religion other than your own, going for the unexpected such as a dance, an adventure or an event which you usually wouldn’t attend are all minute gestures that will incorporate a different culture in your life and help you define a life for yourself. God gave us humans the ability to reason, our parents trained that ability and developed our keen sense of judgment; it is time we use that ability and define our own set of The Conventional.

The next time you find yourself dismissing a friend’s choices as wrong, put yourself in their shoes and give an extra minute to think whether it’s something worth trying yourself :). Comments, rebuttals, feedback welcome as always. This is certainly a topic that needs discussion to be truly explored. A shout out to Tanu... For prompting my thoughts on Unconventionality...

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Taken For Granted

Two unexpected responses to an unexpected question have triggered this entry. My Question Series recently posed a question: Who are the people you are comfortable taking for granted? A general consensus of the responses was, obviously the people who wouldn’t leave your side even if you did take them for granted. Discussions with a few friends however, lead to some very interesting meanings of the taken for granted idea, henceforth referred to as TFG.

To prioritize last the people who are closest, to think of everyone else before thinking of them, to worry more about what that new friend of yours thinks of you from the other night, rather than wondering what your parents have come to know you as after 4-5 years of college far away; Is this TFG? If so, I am sure it asks for certain fundamental changes to be adopted.

On the other hand, another good friend simply looked as living in the moment to be inevitably connected to TFG. The age bracket most of us belong to, i.e. in their twenties, earlier even for a few, marks the beginning of well retained phases of life. Each phase is embedded in memory for its worst and best moments. Inescapably those moments are shared with other individuals; mere acquaintances or close friends, they simply define an aspect of your life that will forever remain with you. Now, as we move on to the next phase, if we lose touch with our close friends from the past, is that TFG?

Whether you live in the moment or are simply accustomed to taking your closest friends and family for granted, please realize that these are the people who deserve your pampering the most. Earlier I mentioned one definition of TFG to be people who wouldn’t leave your side even if you did take them for granted. If I have ever put you in this position, if I have ever taken you for granted, I request you to bring it to my attention. Believe me, there would be no better feeling/time spent than doing so making it up to you. You truly deserve it.

I urge the same to my beloved friends, living in the moment is wonderful, meeting new people, making new friends is blissful, at the same time, pampering those we take for granted is just as delightful and pleasing to heart. It isn’t that difficult either. If you have read some of my earlier entries, a cup of coffee shared, a hand written letter, or a simple email even will suffice. It will make sure that your friends will stick around in times of need or not. They say, a friend in need is a friend indeed. I say, a friend in need is same as any other acquaintance. The ones we turn to without need are friends indeed.

Comments, feedback, rebuttals welcome as always.