Incredible INDIA!

I Found something on Quora I couldnt resist. So I am putting it out here.

[Original Credits: Mr. Amar Nikhil Mehta]

  • Shouldn’t you explore Kashmir


before visiting Switzerland?

 

  • Shouldn’t you explore Andaman & Nicobar


before visiting Mauritius?

 

  • Shouldn’t you explore Kutch


before visiting Salar de Uyuni?

 

  • Shouldn’t you explore Coorg


before visiting Scotland?

 

  • Shouldn’t you explore Goa


Before visiting Thailand?

 

  • Shouldn’t you explore Sikkim


before exploring Iceland?

 

  • Shouldn’t you explore Hampi


before visiting Bagan?

 

  • Shouldn’t you explore the tulip gardens of Srinagar before Netherlands?

 

  • You don’t need to go to the hills of Alaska to ski when you can have it in Auli of Uttarakhand.
  • The allure of Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand is in the same league as that of Antelope Valley in USA.
  • India Gate in Delhi and Arc de Triomphe in France, do look identical, don’t they?
  • Qutub Minar in Delhi and Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.

 

  • The marvelous Jal Mahal in Jaipur and the Trakai Castle of Lithuania.

 

  • Thar Desert in Jaisalmer and Sahara Desert in Morocco share the same folklores.
  • Chitrakoot Falls in Chhattisgarh and Niagara Falls.

 

  • Gandikota Hills in Andhra Pradesh and Grand Canyon.
  • Tea leaves at Munnar in Kerala and Boh Tea Plantation in Malaysia will be equally fragrant.

Yes, every place has its own charm which can’t be replicated or substituted. But as an Indian, it would make little sense to travel to other countries before exploring your own country.

Posted in Travel | Leave a comment

Whom to blame for your failures?

FailureHow many of us remember the India V/s Bangladesh cricket match at the World Cup 2015? I guess many do. We remember it not for the match but for the extreme lack of sportsman spirit displayed by the Bangladesh team and supporters. However, their behavior inspired a question in me. Who is responsible for our failures? Whom do we blame for not succeeding in our endeavors? Most of us will answer the question saying we have none to blame but ourselves. However if we were to introspect on our individual reactions after a defeat, an answer contrary to the statement mentioned above will emerge. After each and every one of our failure, we find an excuse to blame it onto. I couldn’t succeed because I was sick. I couldn’t succeed because there were a lot of disturbances. I couldn’t succeed because they cheated. These are some of the many statements we make after failures. Not all of them are excuses and some of them really happen. However, the proportion of those not excuses is very low. Further, deep in our hearts most of us know what the fact is. We just don’t want people to undervalue our hard work.

I have had a lot of failures in my life and many times I’ve found some person or event to blame it onto. However, when I saw the Bangladeshis weeping and blaming the umpires, they reminded me of myself. Then I made this decision. The next time I fail, I would blame it on myself. Yes, even if I feel someone else is the cause of my failure, I would blame myself. Even if it were for a stroke of ill luck, I would blame myself. Even if someone had actually cheated, I would blame myself. I would blame myself and tell myself to raise the bar even higher.

The Pole Vault Analogy

Pole VaultThe concept discussed here is quite inconvenient to believe in at first. After all, why should one blame oneself for something the occurrence of which was not under his/her control? Hence in order to further elucidate the concept, I have come up with the pole vault analogy.

Imagine the goal you have set out to accomplish is like the beam on a pole vaulting setup. In order to accomplish your goal; you have to make a jump higher than the beam. However, you were unable to successfully complete the jump. Let us articulate a few reason for your failure to successfully complete the jump.

Case 1: Incomplete preparation

This is the most common of the cases. You are not able to make the jump because you were jittery on the day of the trial, maybe nervous or maybe your current skill level was not sufficient to clear the bar. Whatever may be the case, it can be explained on account of lack of practice. Had you practiced hard enough, you would had felt at ease and not jittery or nervous. Similarly, with sufficient level of practice, you would have been able to lift your skill to a level that you would have cleared the bar.

Case 2: Faulty Tools

That’s no excuse. If you really practice hard, the tools would feel like an extension of your arm and you would be able to spot even the slightest of abnormality. In the case of pole value, the tool would be your vaulting pole. You can’t say that the pole was faulty. If you would have practiced sufficiently to overcome your goal, you would have known that the pole was faulty as soon as you picked it up. So even if the pole wasn’t faulty, you still wouldn’t have made it. So no point complaining, the fault is yours.

Case 3: Biased Results

Yes the organizers might have a favorite whom they want to win. However, an impressive performance can’t be ignored howsoever biased the organizers may be. As a matter of fact, many times people are looking for an excuse to reject people with recommendations. Hence you failed not because someone emerged as favorite, but because your performance was not strong enough to attract the attention of people. So what should you do? Practice and more practice.

Stated above are just a few of examples. However, they were sufficient to elucidate the point that If we clearly analyze the reason behind our failures, we would find that failures can be attributed to lack of hard work only. Whatever be the apparent reason, the real reason always remains the same. We just have to accept the real reason and move forward with it. If we do so, success will be ours, if not today then tomorrow.Pole Vault

Posted in Religion and Conscience | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Why should we remember Aurangzeb?

Kalam vs Aurangzeb

Kalam vs Aurangzeb

He killed all his brothers, imprisoned his father, was intolerant towards arts, was intolerant towards other religions and his misadventures ended up weakening the mighty Mughal Empire [http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Aurangzeb]. Yet we ended up naming a road after him. Today when a government is trying its level best to correct the error, we have a problem. We see that history is being saffronised. Let us for once contemplate the situation and then see if what we are doing is correct. Imagine a child of say age 5-10 years passing through the road. His father tells him that this is the Aurangzeb road. Now, all his life, the kid has been taught that roads and buildings are named after eminent people and great humans. Surely this Aurangzeb must have had been a great person is the child’s first thoughts. However, when the child enquires about the history of the person he comes to know that he was someone whose sole purpose in life was the achievements of his personal goals despite the immense costs it entailed. In order to achieve his personal goals, he weakened his empire to the extent that it couldn’t even stand firm to face foreign invasions. Hence, we are teaching the child that the sole purpose of human existence is the achievement of personal goals and nothing else. We are teaching him that power is everything and as long you are powerful, you have the liberty to do anything you want. We are teaching him that those with power have the liberty of taking the lives of anyone they so desire.

Leaving aside the issue of the child, what do grown up adults have to gain by resisting the re-designation of the road. There must be some quality in him which they revere. Do they like his intolerance towards others, or do they like his fratricidal attitude (please don’t give me the excuse that fratricide was common in those times, he went miles ahead of what was common, disobeyed his father and went on to kill the deserving candidate), or do they like his intolerance towards liberal arts. In all probability they like none of the aforementioned qualities of his. The people who are resisting the re-designation fall basically into 2 categories.

  1. The Opportunists: These, believing that momentary gain could be achieved by false pretentions want to create an atmosphere where the move is seen as anti-Muslim and an attempt by the present government to change the history and brand Muslims as invaders. Once they achieve in this attempt of theirs, they will go ahead to make the most of the Muslims for their own growth and political gain only. It must be reminded all that these opportunists are responsible for the sorry state of the country and their sole purpose it to ensure that majority of Indians are illiterate and confined to menial jobs whereas they sit on top and rule them with absolute authority (perhaps they may secretly revere Aurangzeb for his authoritarianism). Refer to this article by Ms. Brinda Karat [http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/ending-destitution-and-distress/article6530852.ece] while shaming the government for destroying MNREGA (which it didn’t) the writer secretly expresses her satisfaction in seeing “men and women lifting approximately 1,500 kilos of mud in a day to earn a minimum wage”. This is exactly how these political elites see the common man and wish him to stay thus.
  1. The Floaters: This group floats with the flow and represents the common man. These, influenced by the false propaganda created by ‘The Opportunists’ genuinely end up believing that the renaming is being done to change history and is a step towards the gradual enslavement of the common Muslim.

If the government was really anti-Muslim and wanted to saffronize history, they wouldn’t have renamed the road after another Muslim. They would had renamed it after someone who fought the Mughals (say Maharana Pratap). Instead, the road was named after the Honourable Ex. President and Scientist Dr. Abdul Kalam. Dr. Kalam represented everything one should aspire to be, a good son, a good brother, a dedicated workman and a selfless leader whereas Aurangzeb represented everything Dr. Kalam wasn’t (in fact Aurangzeb often regretted his actions and this fact is exquisitely brought about by Hur Chunder Dutt in his poem ‘Aurangzeb at his father’s bier)

Simply stating, the road was renamed from that of a bad human being to that of a good human being and every human being must respect that.

Posted in History and Mystery | 1 Comment

Why Monkeys why not Dogs?

Introduction: The Origin of Men

On the 22nd of November 1859 a British naturalist cum biologist called Charles Darwin started shaking a tree. The tree was that of our beliefs and he would continue shaking it for the next 13-14 years. He had just published a sensational book named ‘On the Origin of Species’ and disturbed the hornet’s nest. All the orthodox (including the church) were after him. Mr Darwin however, would not stop here. He would continue disturbing the nest with further revisions of ‘on the origin of species’ till in 1972 when the 6th edition of book was published containing a chapter on ‘The Descent of man’. Now the whole ‘Civilised World’ was after him.

There were many mocking Darwin

There were many mocking Darwin

The British had annexed most of the world on the pretext of their cultural superiority and here was a British claiming they all had evolved from a primate ancestor similar to apes. With one stroke he had thrown the British’s pride in their cultural superiority out of the window. All humans were similarly evolved and monkeys were their cousins. The theory truly was blasphemous both from a religious as well an economic point of view. The British had just lost their pretext for exploiting others civilising others. This however, is not the point we are trying to make here.

While elaborating on the ‘Decent of man’, Darwin and his followers claimed that when our ancestors migrated from forested lands to open grasslands, they lost their need of 4 limbs to climb as they needed to run more than they needed to climb. Hence they switched to 2 feet and their forelimbs evolved into grapplers (Bipedalism). Food might not have been available in abundance all the time and the scarcity of food led them to develop new ways of finding food. This lead to dependence on brain rather than instinct and thus the brain developed (Encephalization). Several other minor changes accompanied these major ones and the end result of one the lineage were the Homo sapiens. There were several of these lineages (another lineage for instance lead to the Neanderthals).

The Ascent of Man

The Question: Why Apes?

Now we come to the main point of our argument. Why only apes evolved into intellectual species? The species already on grasslands (ancestors of dogs and wolves) must have had a better reason to go on two limbs and develop a brain. Why didn’t the apes develop better quadpedal tendencies so that they could run fast on all feet? That way they could run away from predators as well as catch pray (in case they developed carnivore tendencies). The fact that only apes developed into intellectual species highlights the fact that we are missing a key variable in nature selection. Some unknown factor must have been at play and it ensured that apes enjoyed preference over the others while getting their brains developed. These factors however are still unknown and more research is required in this area.

What would have happened if say the wolves/dogs had evolved into intellectual bipedal species? In that case, ‘The March of progress’ must have looked something like this:The Ascent of other Species

Anubis The GodThe fully evolved specie at the end looks familiar isn’t it? He is Anubis, the Egyptian God associated with afterlife. Images of Anubis are sculptured at several places in ancient Egyptian relics and he is not alone. Ancient Egyptian sculptures identify several Gods with faces of animals. While their images might have originated as a result of nature worship, it is entirely possible that they did exist.

The Hypothesis: Ancient Aliens

We’ve previously discussed how the ‘encephalization’ of apes alone must have been the result of some unknown variable. What would have happened if this unknown factor favored some other species? In that case Anubis might just be another result of this evolution. It is quite possible that these Egyptian gods were fully evolved but extremely rare (that is why we don’t have their fossils) races which just went extinct. It is also possible that these were alien races (and hence Gods) which evolved on some other planet under different conditions.

Ancient Egyptian Gods

The archaeological achievements of the Egyptians have been looked at with a lot of skepticism and many have claimed the involvement of alien species and technologies (eg. Wireless electricity Ref: http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/14152/were-the-egyptian-pyramids-wireless-power-stations). While we won’t discuss those extravagant theories here, our point of discussion here can easily point towards them. If they really were aliens then they must have left some proofs which we either ignore or refuse to accept. Or they are simply hidden from us. Keeping sensationalism aside, we need to introspect on the theory of evaluation and further develop it. We also need to be on the lookout of fossils pertaining to other species and track their evolution. We also need to introspect on the Egyptian mythological figures. Maybe they are much more than our figments of imagination.

Posted in History and Mystery | 5,447 Comments

Are all Men created equal?

Are there VIPs in God's eyes too?

Are there VIPs in God’s eyes too?

It is said (the immortal declaration), that “all men (and women) are born equal”. To this some realist had added “but some are more equal than others”. This nearly summed up the state of affairs as it always has been. There always have been kings and there always have been peasants. It has been true for ages and is true today. In this world the ones with money and power have always enjoyed a VIP status compared to the common man and the case is same whatever be the mode of economy we follow. VIPs always get preferential treatment as they have the money/power to pay for it.

The extreme differences in society have long been a question of public debate. Why are some people born in riches and some in rags? Isn’t our creator one and the same? If we are all the same to him then why the difference? Each and every one of us must have had asked these questions at some point of time. The sad point is though, that only the creator can answer the question.

Recently I had the opportunity to visit the revered Kashi Vishvanath temple in Varanasi. I had to attend a colleague’s wedding and thought it was a good opportunity to take a detour. There, I looked at a queue which was supposed to be for the VIPs and remembered of the queue I had seen at Tirupati Balaji and Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine. Why were there separate queues for the VIPs? They might have be VIPs for us but were they VIPs before God too? I had this thought when I was entering the gates of the shrine and it was this moment when I had the answer.

We’ve learnt from popular folklores that in ancient times, people used to undergo deep meditation and penance in order to gain a blessing from God. These might be folklores but they carry an important message: ‘Undergoing Penance to meet God’. A lot of people might choose to go into a King’s court but only a few are lucky to receive his grace. The same is true with our shrines too. While we all chose to visit God, he reserves his rights to bless all. The answer that came to me was that standing in queue is a form of penance. He who enjoys a VIP entrance does the least penance and he who spends hours/days standing in a queue does the most. So, subject to a some number of conditions, the one who has spent hours endeavoring by staying in the line has the highest probability of being blessed. The same is applicable in life as well and the one doing the maximum penance enjoys the maximum probability of being blessed.

What is the true meaning of Karma?

What is the true meaning of Karma?

In the ‘Bhagavad Gita’, Krishna stresses a lot on ‘Karma’ (duty) and ‘Karma Yoga’. If we apply the theory we’ve just developed in the previous paragraph, we would arrive at the conclusion that ‘Karma’ is a form of penance. No wonder ‘Krishna’ stressed upon ‘Karma’ rather than meditation and penance in a forest. Karma has the same effect as meditation and Penance. The deeper one is involved in his work; the better is his state of meditation and the more the hardship one faces, more the penance he does. It’s Just like say the GMAT paper, where if you perform well, the questions go on getting harder and if you get them wrong, you’ll get easy questions.

So if you think life has been hard to you, think again, this time from another perspective. You are doing penance and depending upon your penance you will receive the fruits. Just don’t give up on your hard work and keep striving. A majority of people give up just before the end and miss out on the grand prize. God wants you to keep working and this is the essence of ‘Karma Yoga’.

PS: Those who enjoy the VIP queues, think about joining the normal queue sometimes. God would be happier.

Posted in Religion and Conscience | 3,839 Comments