The Burnt Childhood

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A principle of Buddhism states that: “Never hurt those who are weaker than you”. Childhood is the most fragile, carefree, relaxed, happy, and a no burden stage of life but there are childhoods that are burnt. Mine was a burnt childhood. Burnt by perpetrators, burnt by the evil-eyed, burnt by those who for their selfish motives and needs ruin one entire life. In this article, I make an attempt to share my story to reach out to those who have been victimized by child abuse and to those who created these victims. I do not intend to write this article to garner any kind of sympathy but to aware people about the trauma that comes with it and, to ensure that this does not happen with anybody else.

I was child abused, as a toddler. As a toddler, when I should have played with my dolls, and teddy bears I was sexually abused multiple times and for good seven years. I was so scared after the incident that I could not tell my parents. I thought they would harm me more or that they would kill me. I, out of fear, used to urinate on the bed until I was 13 or 14. My periods started when I was as young as 8. I even went through physical violence and fear of pregnancy at such a tender age. As I recall, I used to be lost in class and in school as well. I could not answer questions like other kids, I could not understand the interesting concepts taught in the class. I used to keep staring at the black board. There was no one who understood my pain and suffering. There were kids in my class who used to mock me and make fun of me. There were circles made during the “games period” and nobody in that circle wanted to stand next to me. Everyone ran away from me, nobody stayed with me. It became so difficult to stay in my own classroom that I had to change my section again with great difficulty. There were days, I still recall when I used to cry for nights, there were sleepless nights too, there were days I didn’t have food and I was given taunts by my family members too for not performing well in exams and for not looking beautiful. There were times when people used to call me  “insane” and made me the culprit rather than the victim. There were days when I used to shout and cry to make my parents understand that what amount of trauma and pain I went through and I am going through but due to lack of awareness of the outcomes of child abuse they could not understand me to the extent I was expecting them to. I struggled a lot mentally, and emotionally and there was none to support me.

Nevertheless, where there is a problem, there is a solution too. The first solution to this is for all the victims like me that they “should not take the blame on themselves”. There were people around me who blamed me, by pointing fingers that I indulged in the act. I don’t understand the sense of these people that “how can a 7-year-old indulge in such an act”? I, in fact, didn’t even realise and comprehend as to what happened to me. The blame should be rather imposed on those who did the act. Secondly, the child abuse incident made me “emotionally weak”, rather very weak and vulnerable. Sexual conversation or acts distorted my mind and heart. So, it is important to nurture the emotions as much as the mind. Not only parents, but schools should setup a curriculum or rather a separate subject which is inclusive of topics such as child abuse which enhances the emotional strength of the students and teachers both. Students should have the capabilities to empathise with the sufferings of their fellow colleagues if there is any. Similarly, teachers should be able to relate to the problems of these students who have been victimised through acts of child abuse and rape and guide them too. A strong curriculum which gives importance to emotions too will help victims to turn into emotionally strong individuals. Emotional growth is as important as mental growth. Hence, homes and schools should have an environment that is enriching, nurturing and nourishing. Thirdly, there should be mandatory awareness campaigns for parents from all economic backgrounds too on how to nurture and bear their kids. On how to, protect their kids and give them a safe and healthy environment, post the incident because we victims have a tendency to feel unsafe and unprotected many a times after such a traumatic incident. And, even before the incident so that such an incident does not happen at all. Parents need to understand that many times, the enemy is in the house and not outside and vice- versa. I, strongly, believe that parents should keep an eagle’s eye on the people around their kids until they grow up enough to protect themselves. Also, adults who were victims themselves can make the environment around them safe and protected by choosing the right people among whom they feel safe, the right places to be in and so on. The victims should also learn to love themselves by not trying to make suicide attempts like I did. I did try to harm myself but it turned out to be of no use. Grooming yourself, focusing on yourself, and loving yourself is the solution. Harming yourself is not.

Moreover, the Government of India should give more incentives like the Maternity Bill, 2017 to parents with new born babies. The government should establish  more acts like the POSCO act. And, the government of other countries should be and must be inspired by these government incentives and should implement such schemes as much as they can, and to the highest levels. According to the POSCO (Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act) the registered child abuse cases from 2014 to 2015 have increased from 8,904 to 14,913. These cases are from not only well-off backgrounds but from all kinds of backgrounds. These cases are prevalent among the labourers too. Lastly, to avoid flashbacks of the incident one can consult a psychologist and a psychiatrist too. Consulting a psychologist or a psychiatrist does not make you insane rather it shows the level of your awarness and your urge to live life happily again after coming out of a traumatic incident.

On a final note, this needs to stop. It’s high time that this stops! It’s high time we fight this and stop this! We should take inspiration from global leaders and Nobel Laureates’ like Kailash Satyarthi who are fighting child abuse cases so vigorously and strongly through  initiatives such as the Bharat Yatra. We need to be vigilant and aware as to what is happening in our neighbourhood, in our nearest vicinities. And, join hands to end the brutal and globally recognised crime of child abuse.

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Communalism in India

110714_1601_Communalism101A theory opposed to secularism. A political strategy opposed to nationalism. A divisive force, that creates alienation of one community with the rest of the  communities. Communalism is what is being talked about here!!

Prime Minister Pandit. Jawaharlal Nehru asserted that communalism poses the greatest danger for India. Not so much for external aggression. During external aggression, we unite under the tag of “Indians”. Communalism, whereas, divides the Indians. Communalism is a deadly enemy. Anyone who loves India will hate communalism, but who hates India will love communalism.

India has had a beautiful history of respect and compassion towards all religions. Presently, the situation seems to be in stark contrast with the legendary stories of “respect for religions” contained in the Indian history. Currently, it seems the 21st century India is soaked in the ideas, and ground realities of communalism. And, this can be rather observed through killings, genocides, deaths, and massacres in the name of caste, creed, religion, dharma, and vigilantism.

The usage of the phrase a “beautiful history” connotes, that in a country as glorious as India, where Mughal ruler “Akbar” (a Muslim) removed the “Jaziya” (a tax levied on Hindu pilgrims). This act of his is a symbol of respect towards Hinduism. And, where Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj (a Hindu ruler) recruited Muslim soldiers in his army and never destroyed rather preserved mosques. Shivaji showed respect towards all religions. In a country where the ideologies of Vasudeva Kutumba “one world one family” and “Atithi Devo Bhava” are followed where whoever came to “Bharat” we bowed down and with modesty welcomed every guest. We gave every foreigner a place in our hearts, and let them live in our nation with their traditions and values. In a country, with this track – record incidents such as the infamous Godhra Riots, 1984 anti – Sikh riots, 1987 Meerut riots, lynching in the name of religious values are matters of great collective shame! And, to fight in the name of caste, religion, jati, and dharma is a pure disgrace to the tolerant past we hold.

To elucidate on the above riots and the stories behind them, the hidden secrets behind them!! Here, lie the stories… The year of 2002, 27th February morning witnessed the burning of train Sabarmati Express, Godhra, Gujarat which led to the demise of 58 Hindu pilgrims, karsevaks returning from Ayodhya is cited as having instigated the violence!! This was a 3- day long catastrophic and savage inter-communal riot. In this mayhem, all in all, 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus lost their lives to a state burning with hatred for religions. If this was not enough to swallow, the unforgotten chapter of Sikh- Riots will give you yet another heart attack. The 1984 Sikh Riots was a genocide of Sikhs, by anti – Sikh mobs on the assassination of former Prime Minister and, Iron Lady – Indira Gandhi.

Communalism, a foe to the healthy development of society took its baby steps in India with the coming of the British Regime. British followed the divide and rule policy, to sustain their rule and to strengthen the roots of communalism in India. Secondly, it was nurtured by various forces post – independence for personal benefit. Even, the largest migration in the world, i.e. the partition of India could not solve the problem of communalism. Pluralism, religious differences are a few other reasons included for the growth of communalism in India.

If there is a problem, there is a solution indeed. And, there ought to be a solution to the grave problem of “communalism”. Surprisingly, there is not one but a number of preventive and positive solutions to the pertaining evil of “communalism”. The list is inclusive of, banning of communal organisations, teaching people to keep religion and politics separately, education having a positive orientation, a joint celebration of festivals and law and order machinery should be more active. Creative thoughts like New India programme by the Modi Government, under the aegis of which lies eradication of “Casteism in India” are dreams which need to be continuously “lit” in our hearts and determinations like a firelight and we need to take these dreams forward through our good deeds and willpower. The article “Annihilation of caste system” by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar correctly points out the eradication of the religious foundations on which caste system has being founded”. There is no sense, utterly no sense in having a system which demoralizes, discriminates, generates inferiority complex and creates a bias. Provided, the caste system would have functioned on the values of “all equals” and “no work, inferior to the other”, “accolades were given according to merit and potential” and “equal respect for every caste” then the picture would have been different. The structure of the caste system, unfortunately, pushes the society towards ignorance, cruelty, and an idea of “self-superiority”. Hence, it should be at any cost removed from the roots.

Conclusively, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj envisioned Swaraj (Freedom), Hindu Swaraj rather i.e. independence from foreign rulers, especially the Mughals. Today, Swaraj would strongly mean having respect, knowledge, and love for religions other than our own and to understand that “Dharma” never teaches destruction. Swaraj would mean to unite together and let nothing divide us. No external aggression, no politician, no political propaganda as our real strength lies in our unity. No one would dare to eye a lot of 120 crores if they have the feeling of unity in their hearts and minds. Moreover,  good and honest leaders, a sensible polity will bring us all together. Never will they separate us. This thought breathes in the 42nd Amendment of the Indian Constitution which incorporates the term “secular” in the Preamble of India. Article 25 again holds the backbone of this thought, i.e. religious rights provided to all in India. The twin fold concepts have been given to us by our great leaders and honest politicians who understand the worth of unity. We must unite together, with the bond of respect, awareness, and love in our hearts, souls, and minds for each other and subsequently our beliefs. We must unite, for the progress of India and for its growth. It’s time India modernizes, it’s time India gets freedom and comes out from the chains of communalism and other evils! Jai Hind!

 

Freedom

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Freedom comes across as a self-explanatory term which means “to be free”. To be free is not to be in bondage or captivity of any kind. Freedom for each one of us holds a different meaning coming from various interpretations. For a bird it would mean differently from what it means for a prisoner, or for a farmer. Therefore, it is a relative concept as well.

Freedom for a bird is high flight away from every cage that exists in this world. Free from all kinds of captivities. For a farmer, it is getting healthy and sound crops. Not getting sound crops would mean a lot of tragedies such as not being able to repay loans, suicides and so on.

Freedom, for me is not just freedom from those who wish to capture you, or your land. Freedom is to see smiling and happy faces all around me. Freedom for me is to not see a man dying without food. Freedom for me is to not see a teenager commit suicide due to pre-marital conceiving. Freedom is to not see an innocent being punished due to an inefficient and corrupt system of law and order. Freedom is to not see an old father seeing his son dying helplessly without food, milk, or proper medication. Freedom is to not see a nation-lover turning into a corrupt person for money.

Freedom rather for me is to not see any suffering and pain around me. Freedom is to see a teenager becoming a serving bureaucrat and achieving his or her goals. Freedom is to see people around me, to see my people living a dignified, free, and happy and a respectful life rather than a life in clutches of slavery of wrong people, wrong things and wrong emotions. This is what true freedom means for me.

As a proud Indian, I can claim that the country I belong to gives a lot of freedom to its citizens “from freedom of speech and expression to freedom of trade in the Indian Constitution” vis-à-vis article 19 to article 22”. Through the Indian Constitution one realizes that freedom comes with its own limitations. Freedom should be exercised in a manner so that it does not harm the other person’s freedom. Exercising freedom should hence be done in a cautious manner. Freedom is a blessing, and not a tool or source to be misused.

Fortunately or not, we are still in the clutches of slavery as we are not free from many bad or wrong things that even today dictate our lives. The things here are corruption, sadness or unhappiness, rapes and unwanted pregnancies, prostitution, greed, hatred, lack of equitable division of wealth in the world etc. Many people still in this world do not live a life of dignity, respect and are suffering in one or the other manner. Be it sleepless nights due to no food or due to not being able to meet their basic needs.

In a nutshell, freedom can only be achieved if we all come together and take a pledge to change ourselves and then each others hearts and minds and also our actions. So, let’s come together and join hands to make this world a better place to live in.

Soraya – The unheard story of injustice

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In my journey and quest

Of being a loyal wife, a loyal mother

I found a husband who made me lose myself finally to death

and to whom nothing mattered more than his ambitions.

 

The most ironic kind of love was celebrated when a husband made his wife’s father and sons throw hand-sized stones at her. Each stone that hit her body as she bled was a tear from every eye which knew she was innocent.  A, young 35 year old kind, beautiful yet simple woman, Soraya Manutcheri, was stoned in the square, in the remote village of Kuhpayeh, Iran in the dark year of 1986. What for? For a man who said “I can’t wait”.  For a man whose unfulfilled ambitions, and hunger for power and money were bigger than even his wife, and for which he could go to any extent.  Why did she pay such a price?  Lack of women rights, or perhaps for being such a good person. Why was she tortured physically and mentally everyday by her husband?  For the very reason, that some people have a stereotypical mentality of referring to this world as a man’s society. For the reason, that she was not financially independent, and secured. The most important point which needs to be reflected upon here is that, to what extent is any of this acceptable. Think over it. This article will revel upon the story of Soraya, the ideal kind of husband, the lack of women rights in the middle- east countries, and the act of stoning.  This article should be read in my opinion to know the story of a woman as helpless as Soraya, to get the right kind of thought to save more women from becoming Soraya.

Soraya Manutcheri, an uneducated home-maker like many  women in the middle-east, a one of a kind lady, a great mother, a good woman, a good wife who unfortunately was crushed by  the cruel hands of an ill-fate. The countdown of her “cruel –end” began from the very moment she was married to Ghobran- Ali, an ill-motivated and over ambitious husband. He was a prison guard least bothered about his wife and two daughters due to his “male chauvinistic” mindset. After 20 years of a long marriage, his desire “for more” in life started over-powering him, and he showed his desire to marry a 14 year old kid called Mehri post divorcing Soraya without providing her with any financial security.  And, when she denied his terms, he brought his “wild dog” side forward and framed her into an undue act of adultery by blackmailing Hashem for whom she worked. And, eventually got her stoned to death by everyone including her father. Even her tears did not stop him from doing this. What kind of a husband is that for god sake? No emotions? And, when this was not enough the local authorities did not even let her body be buried in a manner human enough (her bones were eaten by the dogs) and her death was finally celebrated by the localities. What a shame!!  Even within their marriage, he used to beat her brutally on almost everything (from not listening to him for the “wrong things” he said to her raising a voice against the wrong he did), he used to make false complaint against her i.e.: she ignores him and so on. He even turned her two beautiful sons against her by persuading them for a better life in the city, e.g.: by persuading them for a better life in the city as revolutionary guards. Can a life be better like that by cursing your own mother?  His ambition on a final note took him nowhere and he never got married to that 14 year old “baby” as her father was executed, and the deal was that if he saves the father then he gets to marry the girl.

Is this what an ideal husband does? Is this how decent people behave? Is this what he makes her go through? No. The “No” is a definite! This is how a beast behaves.  Men who do this kind of brutality to the women who made his world, home, and gave birth to his kids are a shame to the society. Men who treat women as subordinates and willing slaves should be treated with no kindness, and also should not be allowed to be a part of the society. The ideal husband respects his beautiful wife. She is beautiful to him no matter what, after all she was the one who gave him a world as beautiful as he desired. He surely does not beat her or hurt her and neither lets anyone else hurt her at any cost. He understands her feelings, and protects them from the big bad world. He even does not let her interests being harmed, and is highly concerned about all her interests and health. He supports her against the world in thick and thin and fights for her. He even makes sure that he stands up for her, and never betrays her in any circumstances, rather makes her taste love as the food she always wanted to eat by providing her with the loyalty she deserves. He is the man who will help her achieve her goals and dreams. And, be something worthwhile in life and even give wings to her dreams. He will respect her views and their privacy and will try to build a level of communication and understanding wherein they have the ability to sort things out on their level. He makes a lot of efforts for his relationship by securing it in all ways. He trusts his woman he made vows of love to and knows her in and out and knows what she can do and what she cannot. He never victimizes her in any manner, or makes her go through a bad phase rather he teaches her the right things and gets her all the happiness she deserves. He steals the stars from the sky for her. He is also a friend and a confidant and never sacrifices her for his own ambitions. So, he can never be Ghobran-Ali. Hence, proven.

An act as evil as stoning can be nothing but condemned. The world has refuted stoning on many levels and through many angles. Not only the angle of women but homosexuals as well!! The international body of United Nations has a twin fold view on stoning as discriminatory and stereotypical because women are more likely to suffer from stoning, or get a sentence of stoning. There are a multiple women cases. From, Sakineh  Mohammadi Ashtani  to Soraya Mantucheri  to Sara Jaffar Nimat.  Also, stoning in my perception is a brutal punishment and should be strictly channelised, for instance to rapists and murderers, and those who misuse law like Ali. Stoning as a punishment should be mostly banned as it is a very cruel penalisation, and is not universally acknowledged. The mechanism for capital punishment should be so strong and well- structured in a manner that it cannot be misused and that can be first done with complete education for women, by giving more rights to the culprit and the weak. And, by trying to psychologically tax those who are insensitive towards such acts!

The story of Soraya is an incident that belongs to each life on this planet. It is each one’s responsibility to ensure that another Soraya does not take birth. Another, Hashem does not take birth who due to fear refused to own up to the truth. Soraya will always be remembered, and she will help us remember how much more women need to be empowered. And, as well as to what extent the weak is subjugated by the strong, and how much more the weak needs to be empowered. The society needs to be very clear on one line, and i.e. laws are to protect people and are not meant to be misused for one’s own interests. Terrible, are those who see law as a stepping stone to achieve their selfish desires. It only shows their character, and what substance they are made of. Also, it is very important to divide resources in a manner which is balanced and not a concentrated division to reduce such criminal like thoughts as well as people. Balanced division of resources will also make the society more equitable. And, more equity shall lessen crime in society. Major institutions like World Bank, thereby, must intervene, make a plan of action and take up the task of balanced division of resources. This will do major good to the society. It’s high time the people of the Middle East countries start taking their women a lot more seriously and start changing their thought process. And, educate them and give them more rights related to education, property, and speech because the voice of women is not valued in such countries where as they should be. Because change begins at home and husbands in our society need to be very clear that in a marriage they must support and love their wives for all the right reasons, and that is the only thing which makes them a man genuinely.

It is time for some change! So, be that change, see that change, and make that change!

 

 

Islamophobia – A pervasive global issue

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Islamophobia is the fear of Islam as a whole religion, and hatred towards Muslims. The question here that crops up is: Why this aversion towards Islam? Due to 9/11? Is it bigotry? Could it be due to the existence of Muslim population in Non-Muslim countries? All in all, Islamophobia is a very inquisitional and regressive term.

The underpinning of Islamophobia is a report called, ‘’ Islamophobia: A challenge for all of us’’   by the Runnymede Trust.  Islamophobia, as an expression was created to avoid the usage of hate words, like fear or, hatred. Under this, unfortunate underpinning of Islamophobia, Islam has been defined as a ‘’violent political ideology rather than a religion’’. In addition to this, the report also refers to Islam as of a ‘’low standard culture’’, as far as comparison with other cultures is concerned. Accolades for doing this task can’t be given to the Trust rather it deserves complete rejection; because the concept of Islamophobia has a very ‘negative connotation’ to it. In fact, this report should receive the severest kind of criticism, for thoroughly ‘disrespecting a religion’ in the name of a good deed.

Not just these ‘Foundations’ and ‘Think Tanks’, Islamophobia has garnered a wide range of views. Views mostly gracing ‘’negativity’’ have come up.  But, undoubtedly, there are neutral and, positive views being upheld, as well.

Douglas Murray, wrote for Standpoint, where he argues that the concept of Islamophobia, insults and questions each and every aspect of Islam.  Mr. Johannes Kandell, also thankfully, smells of negativity, as he sternly detests Islamophobia, by calling it a word encompassing hostility against Islam. As with each word the spectrum widens, neutrality has also taken its call. French Prime minister, Manuel Valls, has taken a safe path regarding, Islamophobia. He says: Islamophobia is used as a defence mechanism, to silence “critics” of Islam by Islam “apologists”. Secondly, he is not in favour of this phobia, as he believes that it invalidates all the criticism against any Islamic ideology. Middle path isn’t exclusive to Mr. Valls only. Academician, Chris Allen has also taken the mid – way. And, says that, Islamophobia lacks a clear definition.

Views are very individualistic. But, views can never determine greatness. Neither is greatness unique to one religion or, culture. It is cross cultural indeed. We have many Muslims who have made it ‘’big’’. The 21st century has witnessed the glory of one such honoured Muslim. And, she is: Malala Yousafzai, a teenage activist from Pakistan.  She is fighting the disturbing issue of female education. She is the youngest ever, Nobel Prize Laureate. Muhammad Yunus is the founder of Grameen Bank, and pioneer of the twin concepts of: micro credit and, micro finance. He is the recipient of the ‘’Nobel Peace Prize’’. The Nobel laureate in physics, Prof. Abdus Salam. And, ex – president of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and so on and forth, this list is endless! So, it is clear that: ‘’Not everyone in other religions is a good person nor all Muslims are bad either”.

From ‘my’ angle, Muslims are as ‘humane’ as anyone else and nobody has any right to be judgmental about them. I have many, extremely kind and welcoming friends who happen to be Muslims. They are like all of us. No special or different.

Muslims, have a birth right to be treated equally. The Charlie Hebdo Incident in France, Army Public School Peshawar incident, the Godhra incident, aftermath of Godhra Incident in India, is very regretful and reprehensible to say the least. These incidents have casted their shadows over humanity. We must work towards the removal of this shadow.

Raneem Ali, a Muslim, a friend of mine, studying in the very reputed ‘’Delhi University’’.  She is a very bright and, a competent girl. When asked by me: What is your opinion about the relation between Islam and terrorism; which the world has been constantly drawing? She says: It is the herd mentality. We are conditioned to develop such opinions based on what the popular media shows us. The unnecessary and unwarranted emphasis on the so-called religious identity of the perpetrators of terrorist incident unwittingly fuel Islamophobia, and this is very wrong for the simple reason that terrorists have no religion!

The challenges of every century are different. In that aspect, 21st century’s challenges are new too. They are meant to be fought for. How? That is our call. We should unite, and fight. Or, have a blind eye to these unaddressed issues. The issue of Islamophobia has brought unmitigated troubles, to Muslims globally. So, we need to take these issues as ‘’common man’s issues’’ and, fight them. Not for us, but for the children of today, and tomorrow. And, fulfill their dream of a better world.

Another Black Day for Humanity

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It seems the month of ‘December’ is destined to carry the dark burdens of humanity. Earlier we witnessed the ‘Nirbhaya Delhi Rape Case’ and now, the ‘Peshawar School Killing’. All the credit for this school killing goes to ‘The Pakistani Tablian’; who killed thousands of people, bombed over thousands of schools. Then they also shot, Malala Yousafzai, the young supporter for girls’ rights. And, when these ‘Merchants of murder’ weren’t satisfied with their fight against education, they targeted a crowded school in Peshawar.
On the ill-fated day of Tuesday, December 16th, 2014, seven terrorists belonging to TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan) attacked the Army school in Peshawar. They killed around 132 uniformed school students of assorted age groups. Around 1,100 students were made to line up and were murdered with gunshots right to the head. In totality, these crude beasts killed 145 ‘faultless’ people. And as they killed them, their terrified parents crowded around the school gate praying for the survival of their kids.
To combat this attack, Pakistan’s Special Forces killed all the seven terrorists and rescued around 960 people. Around 130 people were injured, as quoted by: Major Bawa. And, the mastermind of this attack was a volleyball player, child killer named Umar Mansoor.
There was a wave of fury which crossed national boundaries, with condolences coming from around the world.
The ‘clichéd’ prime objective of TTP to conduct this attack was to take students and hostages and, demand their terms. The TTP members were carrying food and weapons and, were planning to mount a long siege. But, as told by a security official, that they just came there to kill and, they did so. Nothing else was on their mind.
Sadly, it is said that, this was the deadliest attack to happen in Pakistan, surpassing the 2007 Karachi bombing. Information given by various news agencies suggests that nature and preparation of the attack resembled to that of the Beslan school hostage crisis that occurred in Russia in 2004. Also, there has been much hype that this attack was a revenge for ‘Operation Zarb-e-Azb’ ( A military operation being carried out against the group in North Waziristan’s tribal region), and of course a retaliation for ‘Malala’s Noble Prize Win.‘
These ignorant terrorists get the encouragement to kill civilians by misinterpreting Quran. But interestingly, if you turn the pages of Holy Quran, it does not encourage killing of people. On the contrary, Quran (The holy book of Muslims) itself says that ‘death of one innocent man is equivalent to the death of the entire mankind’. Henceforth the entire mankind, died 145 times due to this attack.
If I get a chance, I would really ask them: What was the fault of these primary, middle or high school kids? What did you all achieve by killing them? And, I would say to them: if you really think over it you did not achieve the goal you attacked for. You all have chosen the path of hell and, not heaven.
On an ending note, we all should and, must come together and raise our voice against such gruesome acts and such merciless terrorists groups. It is not only the duty of trained officers and agents, but, it is also our duty to fight back terrorism. As worthy, alert and responsible citizens: it should be our prime concern to fulfill our duties towards our country. In the process of enlightening citizens, I would also like to mention that, “the government of all countries should remember and, implement their respective duties with utmost honesty in order to fight and combat terrorism. None of them should encourage it in any possible manner.’’ As an extension to the prior statement; ‘’It was good to see the Indian government putting Delhi on high alert post this school killing in Peshawar.” Governments take such steps to keep a check on terrorism. Other than this, let us all come together and pray for the peace of the souls of these innocent people who are not with us anymore. And, instead of crying (mourn we must for all times to come) for these lost souls… we should make our war against terrorism even stronger.

Let us dream of a world which is terrorism free! And, let us fight to fulfill our dream!
See you all with my next post soon!

The gate of life

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Finally, the journey of my schooling comes to an end. I have always relished happy endings. And, surprisingly I scored a thrilling 91.25 per cent in the CBSE 12th Board exams. Now, I call this a really happy end to a story. The journey to achieve, this score was not as amazing as the number itself! School started for me on a really dicey note. As far as I can recall, I hardly went to school in April and May, and, for that matter, till mid July I wasn’t able to attend school due to unavoidable health conditions. I headed back to school in the later half of July missing a hell of a lot of the syllabus! Next what? I had lost the urge to study, and, I resisted going to school. It was uncertain whether graduating from school was on the cards for me at all. Undoubtedly, it was a very difficult time but, where there’s a will, there’s a way… No? If you agree, then ‘’bingo’’ you’ve hit the bull’s eye! With my will and courage, I managed to sail through. Moreover, my parents were extremely supportive. All they wanted was my happiness and, my progress. Marks were of no importance to them!  As a result, I was back with a bang with an amazing result in the -“Revision 1”- examination. -Sadly, difficulties kept on cropping up and, I was not keeping well from the health angle. Nevertheless friends are always an asset if they are true to you. A very dear friend of mine, Ms Agrima Kumar acted as an anchor to me throughout the session. She held my hand and, made me walk like a baby till the end and, I reached where I am today! Whether I performed terribly in my exams or, I cracked them… Agrima was there throughout. Also, I give immense credit to Ridhi and, to my good friend Neesha! Who took care of me. These were my very genuine friends, who made me what I am today. And, Ms Ching and Pallavi were a great help too. Lucky to have come across these assets, in this roller coaster ride of mine! Can you people, guess what I am missing on? Yes, my school staff and, the administration. From Madhu ma’am (the principal) to Mallika ma’am (the senior – head mistress), they were all a blessing to me! No matter how much I thank them, it’s still less. I really wish I get an opportunity, to do something for their good. Wow, that was a topsy-turvy ride I wrote about.  On an end – note, all I wish to say is that give people a chance, believe in them, and, understand that many of them are your well – wishers. Further, you’ve got to respect your elders and, most importantly, parents! After all, parents and your elders are your back – bone! You’ve got to believe in your friends, family and teachers for anything, and, they will never let you down in life. -Over and above all that, never stop fighting and, never stop believing in yourself! After all, you never know what life has in store for you! And, as far as I am concerned, I look forward to a bright and, an interesting life as a college student!

Ways to stay happy

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After a really long break, I’m making an effort to write again. I hope you all appreciate my come-back.

We all are living in a really fast world, where the world is too much with us. We hardly have the time to experience the happiness that life has to offer us. As a matter of fact, we are living  in such a fast and noisy world that we do not even realise what we are doing, what we actually want, and what we really want to say. And, most importantly, we forget that whatever we are doing at the end of the day is for -‘’happiness’’-, and we still just fail to remain happy.

We fail to realise that it is actually -‘’possible’’- to stay happy. Even in today’s time, when the odds are heaped up heavily against happiness. But the catch here is that one can remain happy only when one -‘’wants’’- to remain happy. So, desire it. And I will share my favourite five (it may interest you to know, that there are 25 of them) key tips to stay happy which I learnt after reading the book – Lessons from the Masters on Happiness and Longevity.

These guidelines have helped me, and I am sure that they will help you too. So, here I begin with the first one..

  1. Learn to let go

-It is easier said than done. But surely it is possible. Ms Shobha De rightly says baggage weighs you down, makes you miserable. What’s the point of going on with something that has soured? It could be a relationship with a lover, or a business associate. Once it’s over, it’s over. Move on. Take your time but do not keep brooding over it. This applies equally to a bad day or experience. Learn from it, but forget the negative emotion generated by it. It serves no purpose.

-2. Be Selfish, Be Vain

Now this does not mean you become self- centred and mean. Everyone wants to be known as a generous person, who helps others. Being ‘constructively selfish’ is very different from being ‘selfish’. To be constructively selfish is to give your own self priority. If you do not give yourself priority, you can never make anyone else happy.

As a responsible person you owe it to yourself to eat, live and look smart. If your own image is positive then you will convey positive vibes to those around you. A frustrated person, who is unable to address the issues related to his life that lead to a negative approach, will find it extremely difficult to overcome many hurdles of life. So, love yourself and spend a large chunk of capital on yourself – because you are worth it!

-3. Express Gratitude

If someone does you a good turn, let them know about it! Don’t expect everyone to be good to you. It is just not possible.  So, when someone does something good for you, write a note of appreciation. Pick up your mobile…. send a text message. These are life’s really priceless moments: stay tuned to them.

-4. Shut up

That’s right. Keep your trap shut. Not every argument needs to end with a decision. Life is more than just a game of outdoing a rival or the person you are arguing with. There is more charm in holding one’s peace, especially if tempers are running high, as mentioned by the versatile writer – Shobha De. If one person backs out and walks away, the argument will fizzle out.

I am myself a very aggressive person. But trust me, it is the most destructive emotion ever. It is has proved to be really harmful for me. So, I have brought it under check, by ways like drinking cold water when I am aggressive or doing back counting from 10 to 1. Or, I just back off and prove myself to be the bigger person.  Why don’t you do the same?

-5. Have a Heart

This is about compassion towards others. But on a more selfish level, it is also about following your heart. It has always been told us to do what you love and love what you do. So, if your heart isn’t in whatever you do, walk away. You can never succeed in either a career or a relationship that you are not into whole – heartedly. Just think of you being stuck in a job or a relationship that is only giving you grief! I’m sure none of you wishes to be stuck in such a situation. So, as we all know, life is too short to indulge in pursuits that are deprived of joy. So listen to your heart. As Ms. De mentions, -“”The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing””- (Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas). This was written by Pascal years ago.

As I end this article all I would do is to remind you that life is too short to hate, to do things that do not give you happiness and to give yourself pain of any kind. So, embrace it and love it unconditionally. And the moment you love it unconditionally you value each and every moment. As a result you enjoy life to the fullest. In this process of achieving happiness you shall find god. And, when you find god, happiness will find you and follow you!